An Open Letter of Revolt to the City of Cambridge

Dear Cambridge,

Its come to our attention that you've upped your parking meters from a 6 pm end time to an 8 pm end time. While I can understand the need to provide more parking this confiscatory legal piracy is not the way to go about it. What you've done amounts to third world tithes, and your secular humanist sect doesn't fit with my general beliefs. Beliefs such as the dollar I put in this parking meter should come with a hot dog and a free soda.

More importantly, you should factor in how much we give your miserable communist berg, and what we receive in return. For one thing, we contribute greatly to Harvards stature. Who are they going to scoff at condeceningly if not for drunks in rugby socks. Think about it.We also provide tremendous amount of economic stimulation well after we pay a dollar for a cramped parking space on your back alley cow paths. Does anyone really like waht you're offering in Harvard Square? We ought to get paid just to prop that dump up. If I wanted to go to a mall full of hippie jackasses I'd move to Denver. The one good burger joint you had mysteriously "burned down" and I'm sure it will conveniently be replaced by a lens Crafters. Also, its fairly evident that Tommy Doyles hasn't been up to code with its plumbing in quite sometime. In fact I'm fairly certain after 9 pm on thursday its bathrooms count as wet lands and should be protected by the Wildlife Federation. You're certainly not allowed to run a business on this Cantabridgian Everglade.

We are constnatly getting ticketed, our homeless fans are routinely harassed by police officers driving onto the commons, and you've done nothing to curb the mosquito population next to, above all things, a playground. if I were a lesser man I'd suggest that your carefree attitude toward EEE is infantaside by apathy.

But we are nothing if not cordial. We are willing to compramise but we do have some demands written into our attonrney-lookedover rider. First of all, we're sick of using that poor excuse for a bathrom you call the Sheraton Commander. We'll need plumbing (good plumbing) on the field in some capacity. We'd also like a scoreboard, especially for the games Cider is reffing. How am I to know what the count is with calls like "too bouncy." And finally, we're sick of this half-hearted space saver you call a parking-policy. The sky is the limit so start making taller parking garages. And we'd like to reserve them on Thursday nights thank you.

I hope that this letter will be found both reasonable and realistic. Our requests are above all else fair and we expect a prompt response in regard to them. If we have not heard from you in 1 weeks time, we are prepared to move forward on our suit proving you had Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage whacked for your own commerical gain. Suck on it.

In prodigious goodwill,
The Team Your Team Could Smell Like.

SPICES: Week 5

Greetings Kickballers!

It's Monday and, for perhaps the first time since week one this season, my phone's weather forecaster shows something other than a monsoon for Thursday. As I say that, I'm furiously knocking wood so as not to jinx it, but we'll see!

The deets:
Time: 6:30
Field: Field 2 (grass)
Who: Bootleggers (gray)

Please let me know if you CAN or CANNOT make it out on Thursday! This helps me put together the positions and kicking lineup!

The Bootleggers are a veteran squad, so we need to be on our A game this week. Their captain, normally a really nice guy, was involved in a bit of an incident on the basepaths last week, though, so they may be a bit shaken up going into this week. Let's take advantage and get our kick on!

So, why should you want to beat the Bootleggers? Well, they're gray, first of all. And what have we seen in the skies for half the season so far? Gray! So let's take our frustrations with Mother Nature out on these guys! We all hate New England weather, so I think we can tap into some deep and longstanding ill will!

Why else should we want to beat them? I'll tell you why! THEY drank ALL the PBR last week! Yup! THEY'RE the reason we were all forced to fall back on Schlitz which, aside from being far inferior to the Blue Ribbon, led to some really odd behavior on the part of some of your teammates...

So, for all that is right and good in the world, for all the sunny weather that's been bullied aside by gray-meanie clouds, and for all those forced to drink sub-par beer because of pillaged stocks, let's take these bums down!

In other, sock-related news, the Tampa Bay Rays recently introduced a new sock to their uniform in hopes of jump-starting their beleaguered offense. It looks like the sock trend continues to spread. Now, it hasn't worked for the slumping Rays which you'd think isn't a great sock motivator. But you'd be wrong. You see, we want the Rays to struggle, so the sock magic is still working in our favor! Wear your reds with pride on Thursday!

Captain Big
The Team Your Team Could Smell Like

"They're cheating! Their bags have magnets! Those bags are using magnets!" - Steve Li

Spices take the first of the season series against Blue Steel

The weather gods, again, showed their displeasure with kickball this week, throwing microbursts at Cambridge Commons in an otherwise lovely week. Refusing to let a little moisture get in the way of their kickball, however, the players waited for the sunshine – as well as the equipment – and got underway late.

Many of the Spices sported call back socks to seasons past. Raining Sideways, King Hippos, Green Team, Grilled Cheese, Last Ones Picked and Strangers in The Alps were all honored on the day.

The Spices’ offense got off the ground early as Tristan advanced to third on Asian’s single where he arrived safely, but only after taking out the third baseman who was half his size. In his defense, the fielder spent most of her day standing in the basepath. Tristan, however, was apologetic. “Just call me the Kobe Bryant of kickball... I mean in the 'abuses women' way, not in the '5 time world champion' way..."

The Reds then took an early lead with RBIs by Big and a great sacrifice kick by JP, scoring Tristan and Asian, respectively.

The defense held strong in the bottom of the first, but two Blue Steel runs snuck home in the second. Blue Steel’s CF Long (sp?) got home the hard way rounding the bases after narrowly missing being tagged out by Phil and then an even closer call on the third base line when Big watched his tag miss the runner by a hair.

The teams then traded body blows in the third, each scoring a single run. The Spices’ came on a huge sacrifice kick by Seamus that scored Spartacus from third.

You could cut the tension with a knife going into the fourth inning as Bayewitch stepped to the plate. The Blue Steel pitcher, who had some trouble finding the strike zone in the third (even walking a patient Zach), got a bit cute, rolling in a few meatball pitches that still went wide. Thinking quickly, Bayewitch took advantage of the pitcher and catcher’s apparent apathy, acted disinterested until the ball finally broached the kicking box and placed an inch-perfect bunt down the third base line, catching the fielders by surprise.

"I think the pitcher thought he could psych me out by pitching another slow ball, but I fooled him,” said Bayewitch (Coriander). “The ball just stopped, I acted confused and then was like, ‘OK catcher, see ya when I round the bases!’”

Suiting actions to words, Bayewitch would then take an extra base on the subsequent at bat while the fielders weren’t paying attention to her. This heads up and enterprising play by the plucky second baseman earned her the Game MVP award. As the Blues reacted to Bayewitch’s gall, Asian was then able to take second base for her first double of the season.

As it turned out, Bayewitch’s adventures at the plate and on the basepaths were the spark that the Spices needed to start an impressive six run rally.

While at second base, Asian talked to the Steels’ speedy centerfielder. Big was able to take advantage of this distraction and boot a double to left center while Long wasn’t looking, scoring Bayewitch from third.

JP then launched another sacrifice fly that scored Asian from third for a second time. JP (After Hours), who has the team’s only triple on the season, said “Against my selfish burning desire to kick the ball and chance any double plays, I opted for the team and made sacrifice hits to bring runners home from third.”

The Spices then flashed their kicking quality. Brown singled in a run, Phil got aboard, Colin made up for an earlier baserunning gaff and drove in his fourth RBI of the season, and Kevin finished off the rally with an RBI of his own.

Team fireplug Catie also drove in a run on what could have been a double. She was forced to live with a single, however, when the game officials sent her back to first saying that the ball had been mounded and the play made dead.

“Honestly... he was over by third which was why I went... he would have had every right to try to get me out!” said Catie.

“She’s right,” said Captain Big. “If this was the playoffs, I would’ve said something. As it was, it was kind’ve funny to see her slink back to first base.”

Carrying the momentum into the bottom half of the inning, the Spices took the field against a now desperate Blue Steel offense. BK survived a play at second as the ever-dangerous Long plowed through the bag, overrunning the base. BK, kept his head and tagged the runner out.

On what was to be the final play of the game, First Baseman Ray – in his first game back since his wedding, honeymoon and mattress-shopping obligations – held onto a difficult winding liner down the first base line. Hitting the ground to make the catch, Ray then made double sure of the out by dragging himself along the wet grass to tag the base with the ball ahead of the runner.

“That hilarious play showed how much heart this guy has,” said a tearful Captain Big. “He made that catch, which was impressive enough, but then wormed his way back to the bag so there would be no doubt. I only wish I’d remembered to bring him his jersey today and he wasn’t playing in that stylish button down shirt…”

Due to the late start (partially due to weather and more due to the late arrival of equipment), the TTYTCSL/Steel match was called after only four innings, to the chagrin of both squads, especially hearing that the subsequent match played all five innings.

Ever the sportsmen, the Spices bought the Steel players a pitcher/three PBRs at the Bar.

While it was still a win and leaves the Spices undefeated on the season, it was a moderately hollow victory because of the game’s shortened nature. The Spices look forward to facing the Steel again later in the season.

Captain Big would also like to thank the Pitches’ Mark for his birthday PBR. “I found your thoughtfulness tasty and refreshing!” said Big.

SPICES: Week 4

Greetings Kickballers!

Summer is here! Days of sun, fair weather, gin and tonics in hammocks and... KICKBALL!

The deets:
Time: 6:30
Field: Field 2 (grass)
Who: Blue Steel (blue)

Please let me know if you CAN or CANNOT make it out on Thursday! This helps me put together the positions and kicking lineup!

Blue Steel is the squad we're playing twice this season and, for the newcomers, we have a history with this team. We've defeated them in the Championship Match twice. They are one of the stronger sides so we should go into Thursday expecting stiffer resistance than what we've seen thus far.

HOWEVER, they have their weaknesses and we can certainly exploit them. If you need a fire lit in your belly against this squad, then know this: They wear the same color as Thierry Henry (of French handball fame). They also make a habit of parking really close to or over the line in street parking which makes it really hard to park in the spot next to theirs. ALSO, they DON'T turn their headlights on when it's RAINING!

So let's get out there and SHOW THEM WHAT FOR!

Captain Big
The Team Your Team Could Smell Like

"I know the rules of soccer. I know the rules of soccer so well that, when two Slovenian players mug an American player, the American player gets a foul." - Andy Roddick

No Velvet Rope Can Help VIP Stop the Steamrolling Spices

Thursday saw The Team Your Team Could Smell Like take the field against a small VIP Let’s Kick It Squad. Going into the match undefeated had the Spices confident, but a slow offensive start deadened the team’s spirit.

Though the Spices’ feet were quiet in the first two innings, the defense held strong, giving the VIPs few chances to capitalize on.

Shortstop Catie (Nutmeg) reeled in a catch that surprised some since they didn’t even know she had a line on it.

“I promise I’ll call it next time!” cried FBJ. “Sometimes I just get in the zone and think, ‘Yeah, I can get this one…’ I didn’t want to lose that focus.”

“While I would like to hear a bit more chatter on the field than we heard last night,” said Captain Big. “There’s no denying the fact that Catie’s focus led to a solid defensive performance.”

Second baseman Squints made a pair of good plays on the right side, including a catch of her own.

“I saw the ball coming at me and all I was thinking was, ‘Geez! Don’t let it hit me in the face and knock me out!’” she said afterwards.

“It’s comments like that which really build up the captain’s confidence in his defense,” said Big. “Much like Angela’s ‘Oh crap!’ when the ball is kicked at her.”

The only defensive hiccup on the night came on a dipping drive into right field where Spartacus (Ginger) seemingly had it lined up for a catch, only to have it slip through her hands and bounce back in towards the infield. When asked what went wrong, Lindsey was quick to answer:

“I almost missed the almost catch because of Tristan's distracting dance moves,” she said. “I am glad I was able to refocus and make the almost-catch possible.”

“What a harlot!” replied Tristan. “She was totally doing an ‘I-have-to-pee’ dance and I called her on it!”

“What the hell is going on in right field?” asked Big, scratching his head.

Benny Hill antics aside, after two quiet innings, the Spices’ offense suddenly came alive in the third inning, starting with rookie and game MVP Melanie’s (Musk Mallow) RBI double.

“Being a newb, I'm glad I could get things started last night,” said Melanie. “Bunting and running like hell clearly go a long way.”

The Spices would go on to score 6 more runs in succession, with JP (AfterHours), Seamus (Cudweed), Chris (All Spice), Tristan (Scary Spice) and Spartacus all knocking in runs.

No mistake defense and enterprising kicking and running led to an 8-0 result that the Spices could be proud of.

“It was a solid result,” said Big, who added another victim to his season foul-out tally (4) on the mound. “I loved the aggression on the base paths we saw from everybody. The rally in the third was as exciting as anything we’ve seen on the field this season… Well, maybe not as exciting as Ray’s fall-on-his-ass catch.”

The rest of the week leading up to next Thursday, no doubt, will be filled with speculation about the Spices’ next match against Blue Steel. This will be a replay of last season’s Championship Final match, in which the then King Hippos took home the trophy.

When asked about the upcoming clash, Asian laughed, “They’re going down!”

Captain's note: Week 3

Greetings Kickballers!

I hope your weekend was great and that your Monday has, thus far, been toothless. I hope that, though the World Cup leaves kickball as the second most-awesome thing happening this week, you're as eager to get out on the field as I am. The good news is that (at the risk of jinxing it), looking at my 7 day forecast, Thursday - for the first time in two weeks - is NOT scheduled to be a downpour! Woo hoo! (knockonwood)

The deets:
Time: 7:15
Field: Field 1 (dirt)
Who: VIP Let's Kick It (yellow)
What else: We have equipment duty

Please let me know if you CAN or CANNOT make it out on Thursday! This helps me put together the positions and kicking lineup!

From what I've heard, VIP is another expansion team. Blue Steel described them as "Not being 'new' but playing 'new'." Despite this review, we must be sure to treat them as their color suggests: With caution.

That said, I expect everyone to come out swinging on Thursday.

Why? That's easy: They're yellow-meanies. It was VIP that invited the rain two weeks ago. It was VIP that decided it would be a good idea for KFC to buck the healthy foods trend and introduce one of the most disgustingly excessive (though probably delicious) "sandwiches" in years. VIP scared my cat under the bed. I'm watching Cameroon play Japan right now. Cameroon is wearing yellow as well and, you know what? They're getting kinda chippy. More importantly, in my Pick 'Em league, I predicted a tie in this game, but Cameroon let in a soft goal, which could cost me the lead in my league. Frikkin' yellow!

In other news: In the unlikely chance you've missed Phil's posting of the Ray Tong Miracle Catch highlight, it can be found here. Such a great catch!

Next: I keep forgetting to put this in an email...

Regarding your shirts. If and when you wash them, be sure to turn them inside out and use cold water. If you use a dryer, use the "Delicate" mode.

If you see the logo lifting or wrinkling, you can re-press it. Lay a piece of parchment over the logo and, without any steam/water in the iron, place the iron on top of the logo/parchment for 20 seconds (don't rub it back and forth, just put it straight down on top).

On that rather domestic note, let's get pumped for Thursday! It's almost here!

Captain Big
The Team Your Team Could Smell Like

"I dunno, I just blanked out and, the next thing I knew, I was on the ground with the ball. I was like, 'What the [expletive deleted]?!'" - Ray Tong

Early Contender for Play of the Year

The cameras were rolling when CF Ray Tong made his heroic catch in the Spices' first game of the season.

You can clearly see the slip and then the fantastic effort Ray made to stay in the play and make the catch.

"What makes it even more special for me," said a teary-eyed Captain Big. "Is that you can see him pop right back up and, true to his 'training', he gets the ball back in as quickly as he can, making it possible to complete the double play. A great play, start to finish and his MVP award was well-deserved."

Spices welcome expansion team Ballstars 4.0 with drubbing

A light rain fell as the Pinks and the Reds took the dirt field on Cambridge Common on Thursday evening. The mud, wet ball and slippery grass would challenge both teams, but Captain Big was enthusiastic.

“I love playing in the wet,” he said. “That slippy ball is tough to handle, which favors the big kickers. And their third baseman is wearing a white t-shirt.”

Captain Big won Rochambeau on a rock, providing further evidence that the Brow’s “scissors-only” strategy will only win 33% of the time. Big then drew some raised eyebrows when he intentionally chose to kick first. However, he refused to answer questions regarding his strategy.

“I’m not going to answer any strategy questions,” he said.

The upstart Ballstars struck first in the bottom of the first. However, The Team Your Team Could Smell Like quickly hit back with five runs of their own in the top of the second. Game MVP BK and Colin each drove in two runs while Zach added an RBI of his own.

"I had one thing on my mind when I came to the field: Clam," said BK. "I didn't care how many balks flew in my face, I wanted to rake the clam home with me. But for a while I thought we might get rained out. I didn't care. I was ready to play in the mud. But in the end, the clam was mine."

Colin was exuberant: “Neither rain nor Ballstars will stop The Team Your Team Could Smell Like.”

The two kicks of the night that deserved more came off the feet of two of the team’s best bunters. Asian and Angela both got the rare opportunity to swing away and both made good contact. Asian’s kick, with good pop, made a seam directly at the pitcher’s chest. Angela’s kick had an eye for the turf behind the first baseman, but he was able to make a heroic catch to frustrate her chances at a single.

Defensively, the Spices were solid. The defensive Play Of The Night went to one of the newest members of the team. Amy, a last-minute signing, fought the rain to reel in a shallow fly to left center. As she formed up for the catch, however, the ball bounced in her arms and back into the air. Showing her grit, though, Amy recovered and, with a great second effort, made her second catch in one kick.

The Iron-Man Defender of the game was Asian. After having two swim-moves spoiled by encroaching fielders, Asian eventually got her chance in the fifth inning.

“As I completed my swim,” said Asian. “All I could think about was how Angela snagged the bouquet at Ray and Meghan’s wedding this weekend.”


Later that night, Frey would propose to Asian, offering her a brimming cup of light beer.

“It was the happiest moment of my Thursday!”

The “Great-effort-too-bad-it-means-NOTHING” play of the game went to Phil and Nancy. Phil snagged a grounder down the third base line and winged it to second to force out the leading runner. Nancy, covering the base made a great catch to complete the play. However, the kick was ruled a foul, thus spoiling the two players’ bid for glory.

“I was bummed!” Nancy said. “After all that and it was meaningless!”

Despite it being only the second game of the season, the Spices showed the comfort and ease of veterans

One of the Ballstars’ players was heard at the bar, “We’re pretty sure you guys are, like, a professional kickball team.”

Now, with a record of 2-0, the Spices are looking forward to next week’s matchup against another expansion club: VIP Let’s Kick It.

Rain can't keep Spices from getting their kick on... unofficially

The skies were forbidding as the Spices arrived in Cambridge on Thursday night. A sprinkle started as they trickled into Tommy Doyle’s for pre-game refreshments. Reports of thunder, lightening and a light monsoon confirmed their fears and the night’s games were unceremoniously postponed.

Team mascot Atticus Ayari was denied his triumphant debut and went home wet, along with his people.

The remaining members of The Team Your Team Could Smell Like refused to allow their spirits to be dampened. Indeed, Bayewitch (Coriander) and Paul (Jamaican Jerk) made their first appearances in Cambridge and were enthusiastically welcomed.

Captain Big (Oregano) was also thrilled to learn of two eager replacements for the tragically fallen players who were never even able to make it to the field. Newbies Amy (Peppermint) and Hannah (Crushed Red Pepper) have chosen their spices and, by all accounts, will be a great addition to the squad.

It was decided that Tristan (Scary Spice) would be made honorary MVP for his exploits off the field, being newly-engaged. "The most important thing in kickball is dependability," said Tristan. "That's why I showed up late, played for half of the first inning, kicked the ball directly to the opposing team, and left for a bar with my other friends."

As their pitchers grew light and reports of clear skies came in, the Spices resolved that some wet grass wasn’t going to keep them from getting their kick on. Their rally cry fell largely on deaf ears with the rest of the squads, but Stephanie, Travis, Diane and Mark from Where My Pitches At and Barret from Ballstars 4.0 joined the Spices on the slightly soggy Cambridge Common. Honorary Spices Seth and Rob (Curry) also came out.

The group split into two and the light-hearted scrimmage got under way.

JP (After Hours) kicked a convincing 5 base homerun (he was tagged out on his second lap between first and second). Big would’ve had a pair of home runs had the opposing team not resorted to gorilla tactics by tackling and then sitting on him until the ball was retrieved and bounced off his dome. Kevin (Swagger) also had a chance at a round-tripper, had his head not gotten in the way of the relay throw as he slid into home.

The wet conditions led to some adventures in the outfield, but Phil, Paul, Kevin, Amy and Asian all made memorable catches and plays in the waning light.

“It was nice to see so many Spices on the field tonight despite the rain,” said Asian (Paprika). “This Rack knows how to party!”

The Team Your Team Could Smell Like looks forward to returning to the regularly-scheduled season next week when they will resume their campaign for the Founders’ Cup and kickball glory!

SPICES: Week 2

Greetings Spices!

I hope your holiday weekend was excellent! I also hope you didn't partake in any dangerous activities specifically forbidden by your player contract. These include: Riding sports bikes backwards, skydiving in the state of West Virginia and body surfing anywhere!

The deets:
Time: 6:30
Field: Field 1 (dirt)
Who: Ballstars 4.0 (Pink)

Please let me know if you can or cannot make it out on Thursday! This helps me put together the positions and kicking lineup!

We already know that Ray's not going to be there because he's getting married or something, so everybody wish him well!

In case you missed it, the write-up for last week can be found over at the Munt and Flip (now with corrected stats).

Sitting behind me, in the home office, are piles of shirts. Shirts with your names on them. I can tell you, without hubris, that they are the coolest shirts we've ever had for the 2010 MA Patriot Season.

Sitting on the shelf above my head, I can state, with utter confidence, is the awesomest MVP trophy we've ever had the pleasure of awarding!

I literally can't wait to hand these things out this week!

I also literally can't wait to take it to the Ballstars this week. Y'know, Pete, Zach and I reffed their game against Blue Steel last week. They held the Blue Steel to one run through 3 innings before melting down a bit in the latter half of the game and ended up losing 5-1.

But that's not what's important. You see, from behind the plate, I could hear them talking. You know what I heard them say? I'll tell you!

They said that their big brother/sister/dad could beat up your big brother/sister/dad! Yup!

They also said that the enjoy double dipping in the shared salsa! Outrageous!!

Oh, and that soda you opened that time that sprayed soda all over the place? THEY SHOOK IT UP!!

You see, what we have here is a lack of respect which needs to be corrected. We can't let these lightish red upstarts talk smack about us like that without consequences.

But we're a clean team, see? We play hard and we party hard. We don't give our socks up to anybody, no matter how much they look like that chick from that Bond movie.

So your homework for this week, due on Thursday at 6:30, is to get yourself pumped up to come out and kick some Balls!!

Let's doooo it!

Captain Big
The Team Your Team Could Smell Like

"Your toast has been burned and no amount of scraping will remove the black stuff!"